Compared to what North American buyers are getting, the version of Volkswagen's new Jetta sedan intended for Europe will be more upscale and more expensive. During the launch of the sedan, VW development chief Ulrich Hackenberg told reporters that the Jetta for Europe is built with “higher value” fittings.
For instance, the European Jetta features a soft control panel that has a higher quality feel than the hard control panel of the US version. VW explained that the European Jettas have a sophisticated four-link suspension system akin to what the Golf is fitted with.
It has been installed on the latest model but it has yet to be placed on US models. With this system, the European Jetta is able to offer good handling characteristics. On the other hand, the US version being delivered with a beam axle offers greater driving comfort.
Hackenberg said the new Jetta should not be considered a “student's car” like some of its predecessors but rather, it should be looked at as a high-value sedan with a definite sporty flair. European buyers will pay a high price for their Jetta.
Prices for the new, sixth-generation Jetta at Germany will begin at 20,900 euros (about $29,000). But in the US, Jetta prices begin at $16,000. The Jetta started selling in the US in October its launching in Europe is set for March. The Jetta is slotted between the Golf and Passat models. It is VW’s top-selling model in the US, with annual sales of about 110,000 in the country.
Market researchers JATO Dynamics said that in Europe (where hatchbacks are preferred more than sedans), Jetta sales were only 6,800 in the first eight months, compared with sales of 338,000 for the Golf. More legroom in the rear is offered in the new Jetta as it is 90mm longer than the model it replaces at 4640mm. In Europe, the Jetta will be available with a wide variety of gasoline and diesel engines.
The most fuel efficient version of the 1.6-liter diesel engine has modifications that include stop/start and battery regeneration. It returns 4.2 liters of diesel per 100 km and has a CO2 emissions level of 109 g/km CO2. Buyers in North America are offered one diesel, a 140-hp, 2.0-liter unit, as well as 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter gasoline engines. [via autonews - sub. required]